Inside SEER: How to Use SEO for Reputation Management

Our Inside SEER series cracks open SEER’s internal resource archives to share our best practices with others.The latest post in this SEERies shares our team’s insights on the issue of SEO and Reputation Management. You’ll discover what you can do to suppress negative listings and how to diversify your clients’ SERPs.  

What do users see on the first page of search engine results page (SERP) when they search your client’s business? The company’s site, social media profiles, a Ripoff Report (eeek!)?

The first step to Reputation Management is to perform a digital audit for your keyword(s). The best SERPs have a healthy mix of profiles including your company's site and sub-domains, blogs and social media profiles. Top SERPs also contain news, press releases and localized information.

Suppressing negative reviews

Pushing down negative reviews is a bit of a horse race. To be successful you must create and build assets that are more authoritative in rank to slowly detrude the negative listings.

If your client’s business is currently showing up in search results for a negative review or listing, here are a few methods of suppression:

  • If your client has a Wikipedia page, build various credible links. Do NOT create a page for your client if they don’t already have one. Why? You have zero control of the asset.
  • Build links to a positive news story, review, or blog post about the client.
    • You'll want to be sure this page has a chance to show up for the same queries the review sites are showing up for. It could be a great article, but if it hardly mentions the brand name, it won’t help your cause.
  • Publish optimized press releases on a regular basis.
  • If they don't already have one, create a blog on a subdomain or subfolder.
  • Build and cross-link your company's social media profiles: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Quora, Pinterest, etc.
    • Only create these social profiles if you intend on administering regular engagement. If you create a ton of social profiles and do not keep them active, they will dilute your more more authoritative assets.
    • Don’t forget to include social profiles in your bio!
  • If a client has a presentation available, you can upload it to and give it a name that uses the exact match keywords that the negative reviews are ranking for.

A few reasons why your negative listing may not be getting pushed down

1. Negative reviews are extremely difficult to overcome. Many negative listings such as Ripoff Report, Consumer Report and Yelp resemble a forum-like architecture. This architecture includes embedded links, high domain authority, constant additions of new content and draw a natural curiosity for users.

2. Google’s auto-suggest feature. If your client is auto-populating for “Ripoff Report” you can expect to be in it for the long haul. Users are naturally attracted to warnings and will click to view more of the query, revealing the Ripoff Report in your number one position and keeping it there as users click to see why.

Businesses have started to capitalize on the difficulty of a negative listing and are now investing in Ripoff Report Removal.

How long can submerging a negative listing take?

The bad news my friends is that suppression can sometimes take you a year or more. It requires a scrupulous effort to beat down even one negative review. Keeping your social profiles and blog active will help tremendously. Google rewards brands who are providing users with valuable (and shareable!) information.

How Google ranks websites

Google takes a lot of algorithmic factors into consideration when ranking assets, such as how natural and relatable the assets are to one another. Hence why Google ranks other assets even though they are not positive.

Negatives can come around to haunt any client. Knowing how to stop them, the time it will take to clear, and why your client is getting a negative are the proper keys to getting rid of one.

#ProTip: Try to alleviate a negative situation before a customer takes it to a consumer tell-all site. Use free social monitoring tools such as Google Alerts, Nayme and Whos Talking to stay ahead.

Do you have Reputation Management questions? Share your Reputation Management experiences in the comments below or tweet me @samanthafwanner.


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